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Review: Ibanez EDA905F

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Michael Jewels, May 15, 2003.


  1. This may change the minds of those who don't like Ibanez.

    This is essentially a plastic bass. Remember the book and its cover?

    This is unlike most other basses that are on the market right now. It is one of the most comfortable basses I've ever played, sitting or standing.

    Ibanez obviously put a lot of thought into this bass in more ways than one.

    The body is made of Luthite. (plastic)
    The fingerboard is made of Ebinol. (plastic)
    The neck is maple. SURPRISE! :D

    When you first open the box, the bass smells like benzene, but, the odor goes away in a couple of days. The body is about 80% the size and mass of a P-bass, but, it's thinner across the body and very elongated. For having a smallish sized body you'd think it would have a serious case of neck dive, but, it doesn't.

    Sound - It's hard to describe the sound of this bass, but, I'll try.

    First off, it's got a standard Ibanez soapbar (DFR-N5 - same as in the BTB) in what is described as being in the neck position, but, I disagree. I measured from the middle of the G string saddle to the middle of the pickup, and it measures 4 inches. I took my Stingray, and the same measurement yielded 3 1/2 inches. So, this pup is only 1/2 an inch further from the bridge than a Stingray's, and I believe this is what gives it a nice throaty tone to start with.

    Okay, this is where trying to describe the tone gets tricky. There's a soapbar in an almost Stingray position, piezos in the bridge and an unusual EQ system. The soapbar by itself has a sound something like a Fender Jazz' neck pickup, but, stiffer sounding because it's closer to the bridge. This pup is also a little on the dark side. Then, you have the piezos in the bridge which go from bright to off-the scale bright. Maximum treble will hurt your ears. When you use the piezos by themselves, they have a tone/attack that sounds as though you're playing with both your fingers and a pick at the same time, when in fact you're only using your fingers. Strange, but nice. As long as you don't go near full treble they sound warm and percussive while still retaining their brightness. The piezos also give you all the growl you could ask for.

    Now, start blending the two pickups, and this is where this instrument will drag you into the forest of unnamed sounds. Semi EB-O to Musicman through a Marshall guitar head. :eek:

    Start by turning the magnetic pickup to full, and then slowly dialing in the piezos for extra treble, percussion and growl. The next factor that gives this bass such a different sound is its unusual EQ sytem.

    There are two volume controls; one for each pickup.
    You can also adjust the volume of each string by using a small screwdriver on any one of the five individual trim pots for the piezos. As for the EQ system, this is word for word from the EDA905's instruction manual.

    "The EQA-PZ system has separate EQ circuits for both the magnetic and the piezo pickup. The magnetic EQ circuit boosts both the bass and treble frequencies simultaneously with a single knob.
    The piezo pickup EQ circuit is a two band EQ circuit and features a treble EQ knob on the body and a bass EQ trim pot inside the control cavity. The bass EQ trim pot is designed for "set and forget" use. Turning the trim clockwise boosts the bass frequencies. Turning the trim counter-clockwise cuts the bass frequencies."

    So, combine two vastly different pickup types, the unusual and very fine-tuneable EQ and the extremely punchy and resonant body, and you get a chameleon of tones: The Ibanez EDA905F.

    In short, you can get muddy dub sounds to cutting Jazz sounds to almost acoustic upright sounds from this one moderately priced bass. No lies.

    I'm still getting used to my first unlined fretless board. My intonation isn't as bad as I thought. WHAT A PLEASURE IT IS TO PLAY THIS THING! :cool:

    I know some of you aren't pushed on Ibanez, but, do yourselves a favor: check this bass out if you get a chance. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

    Someone forgot to tell this bass it's mostly plastic, and it's not supposed to sound this good. Shhh. ;)

    Mike
     
  2. bass_man86

    bass_man86

    Apr 29, 2002
    Virginia Beach
    I own an EDC-705 myself, and it's beautyful. The attention to detail that went into making it was impressive. One of the things that really impressed me was when I opened the battery compartment. The screws go into copper sleeves. I agree, don't knock them till you try them.
     
  3. Limo

    Limo

    Sep 22, 2002
    Reykjavik Iceland
    I tried one fretted 4 string here in Iceland and it was the most comfortable playing bass I've played, very lightweighted and the shape is just so comfortable sitting down. How much did you pay for your 5 string fretless?
     
  4. Thanks for sharing your experience and thoughts with us..


    I've had am EDA905F in my music123.com wishlist for a while.. :D
     
  5. neptoon

    neptoon

    Jul 25, 2000
    summerville, sc
    i agree with the review there....great bass....i had both the fretted and fretless versions, and i JUST sold them on ebay...the fretted ain't got nuttin' on the zon :D and fretless just isn't my flava. i SUCK. maybe there will be a lined fretless someday in my future. the eda905f is an awesome bass, though...too bad ibanez discontinued them
     
  6. Yeah Neptoon, I thought they discontinued them after I didn't see them at the 2003 Ibanez site. I also played a fretted one recently at my local Sam Ash. I'm so tempted to get one, but, I just bought the fretless so it'll have to wait.

    Bass_man86, I'm a fan of the entire Ergodyne line. I also played the bass you have. It's a keeper. Have you seen the 2003 model? http://www.ibanez.com/guitars/guitar.asp?model=EDC715

    Limo, I paid $669.00 which is a fair price. That's the same price Sam Ash is asking. Hey, I love the bass so that's all that matters to me. Yes, they are so comfortable. :) BTW, the 4 string fretless is now going for $429 at Musiciansfriend.com

    Luis, this bass is very overlooked. It has a variety of killer and mellow tones. If you get a chance, try one. You'll love it.

    I just re-read my post and I didn't even post a photo of it - How rude of me! http://www.ibanez.com/guitars/guitar.asp?model=EDA905 I think you all know what it looks like anyway. Remember: The fretless board is ebinol, not rosewood.

    I also didn't mention that the neck on either the fretted or fretless is extremely comfortable, just like the body.

    AND the B string blew my mind! It has so much growl for a 34" scale 5 string. I suspect this is due to the piezos sensing the harmonics longer. Perhaps the Luthite body has something to do with it too.

    Thanks for responding guys. :)

    Mike